‘Deadly Skies’ and the Value of Mediocre Gay Sci Fi

So, if you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw me flip my shit earlier today about Deadly Skies, a 2006 sci fi disaster movie about an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Literally the only thing separating it from every other movie of its type is the fact that the main characters are a black woman and and a gay man.

It’s not super well-made, with some juvenile editing choices at times — and some shots that are framed the way a lot of my classmates in college would have framed them. The dialogue is often very bad. The first act moves too slowly; the third act, a little too fast.

But it’s comfortable. It takes the tropes of the genre and points directly at me and people like me, saying, “THESE ARE FOR YOU TOO.”


Patreon Post + #ComicsGate

Hey everyone, just dropping by to leave a couple of links.

First of all, I’ve put up a new post on Patreon, so if you’re interested in paying me for all this nonsense, you can go do that and then read it. In it, I talk a little bit about Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core and how excited I am about the analysis of it that I’m doing. It’s gay, guys. It’s so gay.

Also, #ComicsGate is still a thing, I guess. Because some people still think that comics were better when they were all about white dudes fighting the most uncontroversial supervillains, forever, and ever, and ever. Despite the fact that this prelapsarian, apolitical version of comics never existed anywhere except in their own heads.


‘Logan’ Makes History, but Outlets Bury The Lead

Okay, so, first of all, I am so fucking excited about Logan getting a “Writing (Adapted Screenplay)” nomination. So excited. Like, I know it’s a long shot, given how much critical praise stuff like Call Me By Your Name is getting, but there’s a chance! And this has literally never happened before for a superhero movie.

(I have to say, it feels really appropriate that the first script nomination for a superhero movie is for an XMCU flick, especially the one that says goodbye to both Sir Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman, both of whom were backbones of the franchise.)

But holy shit have the other comics and geek presses have buried the lede on this one. CBR says “Logan, GOTG2 Get Oscar Nominations,” says “Logan Gets Nominated for an Academy Award,” WGTC (an outlet I used to write for, FFS) says “Oscars 2018: Logan Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Wonder Woman Snubbed.” The only outlet that seems to get it is Screenrant, and they only put their article up like 20 minutes ago. It’s a good article, though, I’m impressed by its thoroughness.

Anyway, I’m super excited, and also tonight you can expect reviews of Incidentals vol. 1 and #5, since those come out tomorrow and I live for Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime line.

Lots of Wakanda News Today…

I did a couple of articles for Capeless Crusader today discussing the relationship between the U.S. and Wakanda in light of President Trump’s comments on certain countries in Africa being “shithole countries” — or, according to other sources, “shithouse” countries. Either way, it was a racist thing, and comics fandom came for Trump the way they tend to: by breaking out the Black Panther merch and memes.

First, here’s a link to my coverage of’s new “Wakanda is Not a Sh#thole Country” shirt.

And here is a link to my discussion of the challenge issued to the Press Pool to ask Trump about Wakanda, and what the consequences of someone responding to it might be.

Trump and T’Challa, because it’s never Actually gonna happen.

So Bendis is at DC Now…

…And I’m not feeling it.  Like, I get he’s got major star power, and a reputation for diverse writing, but, like.  He’s still the guy who’s responsible for Wanda Maximoff getting nothing but shitty stories about her mental health for the last decade.  He outed Bobby by throwing bi folks under the bus.  

He also profits off of writing diverse stories that could’ve been told better by POC & queer writers.  There’s a tangible difference between a white guy writing diversity and someone writing #ownvoices; for example, Sina Grace’s Bobby feels distinctly more natural than Bendis’s or Hopeless’s, because Grace is gay and knows the score.

It’s good, I guess, that Bendis wants to write diverse stories, but his star power means that writers who could be doing #ownvoices books wind up shut out, because the big companies want to attract old readers with a writer they’re familiar with, rather than taking a risk and actually advertising and marketing for a new writer or #ownvoices book.  Black Panther & the Crew, the first time Storm’s ever been written by a black woman, got no marketing or press attention, and got cancelled after two issues.  You know Marvel wouldn’t gave treated a Bendis book that way.

It’s a systemic problem with the industry, and I feel like there’s not a lot we can do about it besides supporting writers and titles that are #ownvoices specifically, and talking about this stuff online.  As a result, Here’s a screenshot of my tweet thread of recs; all are #ownvoices, and all are fantastic:

So, to reiterate, it just means that if Bendis winds up on Action Comics, I won’t read that book anymore until he leaves.  I hope he doesn’t get the book, but I admit I’m a little nervous about it.  I don’t want to see him write my trashcan favorite, frankly, and don’t trust BMB in general.  

Overall, I’m concerned, but I’m not gonna waste much time getting angry about it.  Instead, buy #ownvoices books and write your own!  Make art, and support art you love and see yourself in.

Mystique and the Problem of Gaze

Or, the insufficiency of binary feminist criticism in mutant discourse.

Richard Siken wrote the line history is a little man in a brown suit/trying to define a room he is outside of. A lot of the time, that’s how I feel about gender.

Growing up assigned-female, I was drawn to the idea of being ‘not like other girls.’ I spent most of my time with boys, but reveled in not being one of them. I tested out binding and packing for years before my best friend bought me my first binder. I talked to trans men about drag, about whether it was okay for someone like me — then thinking I was a girl — to participate.

When I started wandering around the queerer parts of the internet — you know, the places where kids try out new names and pronouns and try to explain themselves with a language none of us were ever taught and half of us only halfway understand. Tumblr’s a big part of that, especially for me. While I still thought I was cis, someone said, anonymously, that they’d thought I was nonbinary.

For some reason — wink, nudge — that mattered to me. So I started to consider things. What did I do with the characters I liked? I made them trans. Usually, I made them nonbinary.

And I looked back, too, on the single most consequential figure in my queer youth: Mystique, as played by Rebecca Romijn. Mystique in her nakedness, her refusal to conform. Cis feminists, I’ve since learned, see her as a concession to the male gaze, using the subtly insidious “empowered naked lady” trope. It’s the trope people associate with any character with breasts who maybe, sometimes, shows them.